I recently met a friend for lunch at Curries in Everett off Evergreen Way. We know each other from my time at the Mukilteo Beacon.
Jacqueline de Leon-Estes: “Let’s do lunch at my favorite curry place in Everett. Do you like Indian curry?”
Me: “Sounds perfect! I love Indian food!”
I didn’t plan to review the restaurant, but then I saw the “Now Open” sign. While Curries isn’t new to Everett, it moved not too long ago from Casino Road to Evergreen Way. So I turned my friendly lunch into an assignment and put Jacqueline to work.
We were greeted and seated by Manny Sidu, the owners’ son.
His parents, Deep and Binu Sidu, opened Curries on Casino Road in 2013. The restaurant was a hole-in-the-wall, but that didn’t stop it from garnering a reputation for outstanding service and authentic Indian cooking.
The move has proven to be an upgrade for the family-owned fine-dining restaurant that touts it serves “the best Indian food in Everett.”
“We tried a lot of the Indian food around here,” Manny said. “No one was doing it exactly right. We thought, ‘Why not try to do it ourselves?’ “
Manny, 21, was recently named restaurant host. His 18-year-old sister, Mehar, also helps out wherever she can.
He explained that Curries makes a lot of traditional Indian dishes but with non-traditional spices. It also offers some of its own interpretations of Northwest cuisine.
“They’re our homecooked versions,” Manny said. “The intention behind all of these dishes is to make it how their parents would cook it for them.”
Though we showed up during the buffet, Jacqueline and I decided to order from the menu. (The buffet is $10.99 for adults and $5.99 for kids.) Manny advised us that there would be an extended wait for our meal because the staff were already prepping for dinner. We didn’t mind because we had a lot of catching up to do.
We ordered the saag ($13) and nizami korma ($13) — two of my go-to orders when I’m in the mood for Indian food — plus some garlic naan ($3) to share between the two of us. I also ordered a masala chai, a spiced Indian tea simmered with milk ($2).
For dessert, Jacqueline and I split a Kesar mango lassi ($4), a blended yogurt and mango drink served chilled.
Both of our meals were served with a side of basmati rice. The nizami korma, which has chunks of dark-meat chicken in a rich saffron and cashew sauce, really hit the spot. The chicken was tender, the korma creamy. It also had a just-right balance of almonds and spices.
Jacqueline agreed. “The spice is to a T,” she said.
The saag, which has tender cubes of lamb in a spinach curry, wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was still good.
“I’m not too big of a fan of lamb, but the way they cook the lamb, it doesn’t have that distinct gamey flavor,” Jacqueline said. “It doesn’t have that kick.”
The naan, a leavened bread baked in a tandoor oven, came topped with garlic, cilantro and butter. Most of the naan was cooked through, with nice soft bubbles and crispy edges, but some parts of the flatbread were still doughy. When I dipped it into my korma, though, I didn’t know the difference.
The next time I go — because I will go again — I want to show up for dinner. I already know that I want to try their samosas, which are flaky pastries stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas, and a bowl of their mulligatawny, which is a curried lentil and vegetable soup.
Of course, I’ll also want to get one of their many curry dishes. When at Curries, after all.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; email@example.com; @sarabruestle.
The restaurant at 7318 Evergreen Way in Everett is open for a lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. every day. Call 425-265-1200 or go to www.curriesineverett.com. Reservations and catering available.